Monthly Archives: November 2012

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes



Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

I was making several side dishes for Thanksgiving so anything that I could make ahead, I did.  You don’t need to though.  So creamy and delicious!

  • 5 pounds potatoes (I used Yukon Gold)
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup half-and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Peel and cut the potatoes into the same size chunks.  Put the potatoes into a large pot and cover with water.  Bring to boil and cook 30 to 35 minutes or until a fork slides into the potatoes easily.

Drain the potatoes well and then put into a mixer bowl.  Using whisk attachment, mix potatoes.  Add the butter and mix, then add the cream cheese and mix and then add the half and half and mix.  It will be quite running, but don’t worry, it will firm up later and be perfect.  Then mix in the salt.

Put mixture into a medium-sized baking dish.  Put a couple of pats of butter over the top and bake in a 350 degree oven until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.

Note:  When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

Serves 10.

“A clear conscience is a soft pillow.”


Copy Cat Capellini Pomodoro


This is a copy cat recipe from Olive Garden.  I fixed this today for my family.  What a quick and easy meal to fix at the last minute.  Everyone thought it was delicious.  I served this with Cheese Bread.

  • 16 ounces capellini pasta (angel hair)
  • 8 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 11 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook capellini pasta according to package directions.

Mix diced tomatoes, chopped basil, garlic and oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

Drain pasta.  Toss pasta with tomato mixture in a saute pan and heat throughout.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

This meal can be made in less than a half hour.

“No evil can penetrate the armor of God.”


Strawberry Cream Loaf



  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 (10-oz.) package frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

You will not need all the strawberries.  Puree defrosted berries in blender.  Measure 1 cup for recipe and save the rest for another use.  Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.

Blend cream cheese in a mixer bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg.  Add the 1 cup pureed strawberries and blend.  Gradually add cake mix,  flour and extract.  Blend well.  Turn into prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes then remove from pan to cool on wire rack.

“Christ’s forgiveness is the door to a new beginning.”

Midwest Chowder


Midwest Chowder

This is so delicious!  You can add 1 cup ham cubes, chopped cooked chicken or turkey, or flaked cooked cod or haddock, or just leave it vegetarian.

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups chopped potatoes
  • 1/2 cup carrot slices
  • 1/2 cup celery slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 (17-oz.) can cream style corn

In a large Dutch oven, combine water, vegetables and seasonings.  Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until veggies are cooked.  Do not drain.  Make a white sauce with butter, flour and milk.  Add cheese and stir until melted.  Add to undrained vegetables and then add corn.  Heat, but do not boil.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Cranberry Gel


Cranberry Gel

Thanksgiving is coming and this will definitely be on my table.

If you don’t like whole cranberry sauce, try this.  If you cook this until thick, you can put it in a jar and chill.  When time to eat, slide out of jar and slice.  Or the way I love it is cooked slightly less than thick and then slather it on biscuits.  Yum!

  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar

In medium saucepan, over medium heat, add berries and water.  Cook until berries pop, then push through a food mill.  (Or leave whole, if you prefer)  Return to pan and add sugar.  Bring to a boil and cook until desired thickness.

Put in jars and refrigerate.  Or serve in a beautiful glass bowl.

“The anchor of God’s faithfulness holds firm in the strongest storms.”

Sloppy Joe Calzones


Sloppy Joe Calzones

My 8-year old grandson, Caleb, had so much fun making these with me.  I know it is much easier to just make the sloppy joes and put them on buns, but this was something different and fun.  And delicious also, I might add.

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, optional
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 can Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuits
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and salt and cook until onion is soft, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and chili powder and cook, uncovered, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until just pink, about 3 minutes.  Don’t overcook.

Add pepper, if using, brown sugar, tomato puree, ketchup, water, and hot sauce.  Simmer until sauce thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Press each biscuit into 6-inch rounds.  Spoon 1/3 cup mixture onto center of round, add a tablespoon of cheese.  Fold dough in half over filling and press to seal.  Place on cookie sheet and bake 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 8 calzones or (4 sloppy joes on buns)

“God’s help is only a prayer away!”


Oven-Fried Chicken


Oven-Fried Chicken

I’m not a big fan of white meat, but this chicken was so deliciously moist.  I used organic chicken so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it or not or if it was just the marinade.  But I must say, it was really good!!  And it is only 216 calories per breast.

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper (I didn’t use any pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (10 to 12 oz. each)*
  • 2 1/2 cups crushed corn flakes
  • 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Whisk buttermilk, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and hot sauce together in large bowl.  Add chicken, turn to coat well, cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

These are large chicken breasts so I made a half recipe for the two of us.  You can put your chicken in a plastic bag with the marinade and is easier to turn over to marinade.

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.  Line rimmed baking sheet with foil, set wire rack on sheet (I didn’t do this), and coat with nonstick cooking spray.

Gently toss corn flakes, bread crumbs, remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, poultry seasoning, paprika, and cayenne in shallow dish until combined.  Drizzle oil over crumbs and toss until well coated.  Working with one piece at a time, remove chicken from marinade and dredge in crumb mixture, firmly pressing crumbs onto all sides of chicken.  Place chicken on prepared rack, leaving 1/2 inch of space between each piece.  Bake until chicken is deep golden brown, juices run clear, and instant read thermometer inserted into breast reads 160 degrees, 35 to 45 minutes.

* You may use bone-in chicken breast, if you like, it may take the full 45 minutes to bake.  Check temperature deep into the breast.  I baked my boneless breasts about 30 minutes.

“The best witness for Christ shows God’s grace and shares His love.”